Everything you need to know about the Bundy face-off with the feds you learned in your childhood — that is, if you had the kind of childhood in which you read all the Robin Hood stories. If you want to know the rudiments of what is going on now, just substitute in phrases like “Prince John,” “Sheriff of Nottingham,” and “the king’s deer.”
Incidentally, before passing on from the Robin Hood thing, let me straighten out a common misconception about all that. When he robbed from the rich to give to the poor, this was not redistributionist socialism. It was not envy-ridden socialism, it was simple Sherwood justice. He was robbing from rich thieves in government, and giving the money back to the victims of a predatory IRS. The merry men did not have a flag, but if they had, it would have been yellow with a rattlesnake on it.
That noted, let me make just a few observations — as I have now taken up amateur sociology! — about the incident in Nevada.
I have noted a number of conservatives expressing their sympathies with Bundy, but also insisting that “legally” he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and as conservatives we have to stand with the rule of law. Without the rule of law we are as but gibbons in the jungle. Right?
Point taken, but the rule of law can be despised externally or corrupted internally. When it has been thoroughly corrupted internally, as it has been with us, and it eventually gets to the stage where the problem is noticed from the outside, the outsiders are not the ones causing the problem. If we want the rule of law, then the law needs to stop beclowning itself. If conservatives inside the Beltway are truly concerned to protect the rule of law, they need to stop trimming their sails so much, and start fighting for the rule of law right where they are. They need to do this instead of tut-tutting when people out in the heartland start saying enough.
The basic division in our country right now is not between the political parties — it is between the ruling class (and those bribed to support them), and the ruled. The basic political difference right now is between the squeezers and the squeezed. Anyone who wants to read more about that distinction should check out Angelo Codevilla’s superb little book on the subject.
We are now being run by corruptocrats, and they control the elections, the regulations, the regulators, the courts, the bribes, the kickbacks, the appeals process, and so it has come to pass that the prosecutor has shown, indeed proven, that this was in fact the king’s deer. Yes, but should the king be allowed to own 98 percent of the deer in every state west of the Mississippi? When did that happen? How did that happen?
Yes, I know, the Bundy situation actually involved Bundy’s cattle and the king’s turtles. Life is complicated, and this is a metaphor.
All that said by way of preface, here are a few other random observations.
I mentioned that the law should stop beclowning itself. Let us start by observing that the Bureau of Land Management ought not to be decked out like they were preparing for an assault on Mount Doom. The odd militarization of federal agencies is just plain stupid. What kind of federal agencies now have armed law enforcement divisions? You may well ask. Well, for starters, the Department of Education, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the EPA. How’s that? It seems to me that a number of our bureaucrats are little roosters with various compensatory issues.
Second, back the day Gil Scott-Heron taught us that the “revolution will not be televised.” It turns out that this assumption, reasonable enough at the time, was incorrect. In watching the footage between the feds and the protestors, one of the striking things about it was how many of the protestors were holding up their phones, recording the whole thing. And I understand that apps are on the way which will prevent the authorities from being able to successfully confiscate the footage. This is all to the good — the ruling elites need to be on the record far more often than they are, especially when they are waving guns around.
And last, another striking thing about the showdown was how prevalent the American flag was in the ranks of the protestors. This was notable because they were at the point of drawn guns with federal authorities, forces that are identified by that same flag. A number of years ago — in my discussions with ideologically-pure libertarian types — I remember predicting that when we eventually got to the shoving and pushing part of this story, the resisters would show up for the grand confrontation with their government, and that all their pick-up trucks would be characterized by American flag decals. This means that the pushback that our overweening government so desperately needs is going to come from ordinary folks who have “had enough,” and not from dispositional scofflaws who have read more about the history of the Federal Reserve than was healthy for them.
You have no doubt seen footage of Obama standing on various official platforms, with a row of 28 American flags behind him. And here we saw men on horseback carrying the American flag — like they do at the rodeo — riding toward armed representatives of that same Obama’s federal government. Same flag, but it means something completely different. What is this? It means that Robin Hood was loyal to Richard the Lion-hearted, just like Prince John claimed he was.
Old Glory, new breeze.